Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Kava Kava Nail Lacquer
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Kava Kava Nail Lacquer

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Kava Kava Nail Lacquer

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Kava Kava Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “creme beige” with a frost finish. It’s a warm light-beige with threads of pale white shimmer–so there are some brush strokes. It reminded me of URban Decay Fame, which is more neutral in tone. Rescue Beauty Lounge Sheer Nude is more opaque and a little more peach-hued. Zoya MInka is more opaque and a bit lighter, almost yellow-tinted. I think Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani is the closest–it has shimmer but no metallic threads.

OCC described it as opaque, but with two coats, it’s still sheer. A third coat will get you closer to opaque results, but there will still be some underlying sheerness. This shade was my least favorite out of the six for spring/summer, and part of that is because of the formula, which was watery and a bit thin.  It appeared almost streaky because of the sheerness and metallic shimmer.  I’m normally a fan of OCC’s formula, but this one disappointed.  I typically get a week of wear out of OCC’s formula with no chipping and minor tip wear.

The Glossover

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product

Kava Kava

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I would pass on this one--there are better shades in the OCC range, and there are better nudes on the market. The sheerness would be one thing to deal with (and sometimes a sheer nude can be lovely, even if isn't what OCC described it as), the formula deficiencies are harder to overlook.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Nail Lacquer
MAC Breezy Blue Nail & Pinkly Fresh Nail Lacquers

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers

There are two MAC Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection, and they include: Breezy Blue (dark blue) and Pinkly Fresh (mid-tone blue pink).

Breezy Blue is a deep purple-tinted navy blue with a cream finish. I applied two coats (and three coats on the middle finger), but I wasn’t able to get complete opacity. Illamasqua Force is similar but a little lighter. shu uemura Bleu Splendor is darker. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is very similar. The formula was watery and thin, so three coats is really necessary in order to eliminate visible nail line.

Pinkly Fresh is a subtly blue-based pastel pink with a cream finish. Essie French Affair is very similar, perhaps a touch lighter. The formula is so, so thick on this one. The first coat was incredibly streaky, and only when I applied a really thick second coat was I able to get a streak-free result. Because of the thicker consistency, drying time seemed longer than average. I used two coats for swatches, though the second coat was deliberately thick, and it was opaque.

I’m not keen on the formula on either of these. At this price point, the formula really needs to be immaculate or else the color out of this world to justify it. How many blue and pink creams are there on the market?

P.S. — Apologies in advance:  I’m super sick, and when I’m under the weather, my hands tend to get really dry, so they are rather tired-looking in these photos!  

The Glossover

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MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

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Both shades had a problematic formula, so I would pass on these, because the colors are not unique enough to justify the extra patience, coats, etc. to make these work at this price point.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Saturday, January 14th, 2012

NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow
NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow

NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow

NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow ($5.00 for 0.088 oz.) is a light-medium sky blue with a matte finish. MAC Styledriven is lighter, less cool-toned. The color payoff is decent to good, though there is an underlying sheerness. theBalm Great Gonzo is less cool-toned and brighter. MAC Sky Blue is paler, less blue. Inglot #367 is lighter. Make Up For Ever #118 is much more vibrant and less cool-toned.

Surprisingly, the shade holds it own in a sea of sky blues, because it’s darker than most sky blues (which tend to have an airy, ethereal blue quality to them) but not vibrant enough to be similar to brighter blues. The lightness in the color with the matte finish does give the texture a chalky feel, and the texture is more powdery compared to other NYX eyeshadows. It’s very soft and powdery, so while it blends easily, it fades and sheers out just as easily. When worn, even over a primer, I felt it had faded a bit after six hours of wear.  Without a base, it doesn’t crease (probably because of the drier texture!) but does look faded after four hours or so.

The Glossover

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NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

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The color was surprisingly unique from many other sky blues I've come across, but the texture is powdery, making it somewhat sheer when applied, and it fades before the day is over.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Chanel Superstition Rouge Coco Lipstick
Chanel Superstition Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Spring 2012: Superstition Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Superstition Rouge Coco Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as “golden beige.” It’s a semi-sheer warm, light beige with a pale golden shimmer-sheen. It has color payoff, but it’s more of a translucent color, so it allows more of the natural lip color to peek through while giving the illusion of more coverage. On my lips, it helps to even out my natural lip color and provide a subtle shimmer, but overall, it’s more my-lips-but-better in regards to color. MAC Mellow Mood has a more golden shimmer and a pinker base color. MAC Freckletone looks similar swatched but has more color payoff, so it gives a very peachy color instead. Similarly, MAC To the Future has a similar color as the swatch but opaque color coverage and a creamy finish, rather than a shimmery one.

It’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque, but it’s translucent enough that it’s definitely not an opaque lipstick.  It seems to be one of the sheerer Rouge Cocos I’ve tried (more like a Rouge Coco Shine).  It’s just shy of being a heavier frost.  The wear time on Superstition was disappointing–only a mere hour and a half when I typically average four hours across a regular lipstick–and it wasn’t moisturizing (which is a selling feature of these lipsticks), unfortunately.  They’re non-drying, at least, so I didn’t find my lips were chapped after reapplying this two or three times (I thought perhaps the short wear was a fluke!).

The Glossover

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Superstition

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These are supposed to have medium to full color coverage, so the sheerer color payoff combined with the poor wear time really brought down the overall rating for this product.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, October 24th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Fall 2011: Green Jacquard Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard Eye Palette ($59.00 for 0.24 oz.) is designed with the primary shades to be the two larger colors in the center, while the top shade is a highlighter and the bottom shade is for emphasis. The eyeshadow formula is supposed to deliver vibrant color with a smooth texture. According to the brand, it can be used wet or dry.

The highlighter shade is a soft, lightened khaki beige with cool undertones and a frosted finish. I wasn’t able to think of a similar shade, just because there is a dirty quality to the color that isn’t present in most beiges. It’s a bit sheer, but as a highlighter, it works well because the frosted finish looks pearly rather than over-the-top. The emphasis shade is a medium-dark grape purple with subtle red undertones. It is sheer and almost chalky with a satin finish. It’s a less pigmented version of Urban Decay Rockstar (which is also redder in tone) and theBalm Kissy Kissy.

In the middle, the lighter green is a medium-dark minted green with a silver micro-shimmer, but this shade is sheer and not as smooth as the other three shades. It’s cooler toned compared to NARS Delphes. Beside it, the darker green is a medium-dark forest green wih a brownish gray peeking through. It’s on the sheerer side with a satiny finish. It’s a less frosted variation of MAC Greensmoke but greener than Make Up For Ever #84.

For a subtle, cool-toned, green-hued look, this is might work. If you want more amped up color, you’ll want to look elsewhere. The textures are soft and smooth, but they’re on the sheerer side and end up looking washed out or chalky.  Oddly enough, the shades wear well when applied as far as not creasing or fading goes (though they start out looking faded as compared against the pan color).

The Glossover

palette

Green Jacquard

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For a subtle, cool-toned, green-hued look, this is might work. If you want more amped up color, you'll want to look elsewhere. The textures are soft and smooth, but they're on the sheerer side and end up looking washed out or chalky.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, October 20th, 2011

MAC Glitter & Ice Mineralize Eyeshadows
MAC Fresh Ice Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Glitter & Ice Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Glitter & Ice Beauty Mineralize Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.07 oz. each) include six limited edition shades: Fresh Ice (white silver melange), Frozen Blue (blue silver melange), Hold That Pose! (pale mauve melange), Shimmermint (pale green melange), Snow Season (soft taupe melange), and Winterized (dirty purple with silver, indigo, and pink melange). The collection is slated to hit stores on October 27th.

  • Fresh Ice is a cool-toned, icy pink with a strong, white frost. When applied dry, it’s a little powdery and semi-opaque, but when applied damp, it’s much smoother and opaque. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one–everything I thought of was darker, pinker, or too purple. It is a little reminiscent of Pink Opal pigment, but it’s cooler-toned and doesn’t have the duochrome shimmer of Pink Opal.
  • Frozen Blue is a bluish-gray with a frosted finish. Like Fresh Ice, it comes together when applied damp, though it’s still less than fully pigmented when used damp. Urban Decay Crystal is similar in color but suffers from payoff problems as well. It’s much lighter and less brown compared to MAC Hint of Sapphire.
  • Hold That Pose! is a grayish mauve with a frosted finish that borders on metallic when it is applied damp. It’s a little gritty to work with, and it was still on the sheerer side when applied damp. It reminded me of theBalm Come Hither. Bare Escentuals Romp is deeper and purpler. MAC Shale is similar but a touch browner.
  • Shimmermint is more like a minty blue than a minty green with silver sparkle. It’s a cool-toned aqua blue with a touch of gray. It’s very sparkly and frosted. Giorgio Armani Airy Jade is lighter and bluer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm is less aqua.
  • Snow Season is a rosy champagne with a golden shimmer and sheen. It has a frosted, almost metallic-like finish. It’s pinker than Urban Decay Sin.
  • Winterized is a muted plum with brown edges. It has a soft, frosted finish–more of a pearl reflection than lots of shimmer. It is similar to Bare Escentuals Romp. Lancome Zip Me Up is purpler.

I haven’t been a fan of Mineralize Eyeshadows, and these six haven’t converted me yet.  I’d love to come to the other side–truly, I would–because they always look so stunning in their pots, but the quality isn’t there for me.  Most of these shades were sheer when applied dry, which means you have to use it with a good base, whether it is a sticky cream eyeshadow or water or mixing medium.  I find that using it dampened with water helps to give more intense color payoff, but once it dries, it looks faded from how it did initially, and the color continues to fade over the next six to eight hours.  

I used three of the six in a look (and over a paint pot) and all three were a faded disappointment after four hours. I’ve tested this product range more than most products by brands, and yet I still find them lacking. I don’t enjoy writing negative reviews–it means I’ve wasted my time and, in this case, my money. I have better results using mixing medium, especially in combating fall out, but it’s still not quite there.  I had fall out issues with Hold That Pose! and Shimmermint, while Fresh Ice and Frozen Blue were the best of the six.

P.S. — What’s with all the recycled names?  Hold That Pose was a lipstick, while Shimmermint was a shadestick.

The Glossover

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MAC Glitter & Ice Mineralize Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches

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The most frustrating issue with these is the lasting power, even over a base! You shouldn't have to worry about your eyeshadow looking faded after a few hours at this price point. Some of these shades perform better than others, but the fading I found was across the board.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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